Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review Thursday - 9/22

Last week, I was with Barb for too long so there wasn't a review. But I haven't been reading as much lately anyway. I have a few books from the library, but I haven't started them yet. Here are the last two audio books I have finished.

Defense for the Devil by Kate Wilhelm is the 4th in the Barbara Holloway series. Maggie has shown up at the restaurant where Barbara holds her weekly hours meeting with clients. Maggie shares that on the weekend of her 10th anniversary of her bed and breakfast, her estranged ex-husband, Mitch, shows up and walks into her kitchen. Startled, she knocks him out with a blow from a rolling pin and hides him in the garage so that he doesn’t ruin the evening plans. In her shocked state, she forgets to put his luggage with him and hides it in her bedroom. When she goes to find him later, he has disappeared.

At the end of the weekend celebration, Maggie returns to the B&B to find it ransacked and she assumes that Mitch is behind it because the luggage is still in the hiding place. Maggie asks Barbara for help with the luggage and when they find a large amount of cash in one, Barbara sets out to help Maggie keep the money for past child support that Mitch never paid.

Then, Mitch winds up dead. And his brother is accused of murder. But the torture that the killers put Mitch through and the smarmy lawyer who shows up to make a deal with Maggie and Barbara point to a mobster.

This was an interesting storyline because Barbara couldn’t get involved in the murder trial until her work with Maggie and the money was completed or it could have been construed as a conflict of interest. And since she realized that she was trying to get mobster money for Maggie without needing to pay taxes on it to the IRS, she had to work the mobster and his lawyer to get them to play her game. It was intriguing to see Barbara play their game and have feelings of guilt when her actions caused some of the players to lose their lives. And it will be interesting to see how the series progresses and whether her actions will have any impacts on her conscience in the future.

No Defense by Kate Wilhelm is the 5th in the series. This book may be my favorite in the series so far. Vinny Jessup has died under very mysterious circumstances. He was supposed to meet the man that he has blamed for his son’s disappearance to hand over papers and instead his car was found at the bottom of a cliff and burned up after it apparently went off the road. Once the police begin investigating, they find that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. A suicide note and gun were also found in the vehicle and no fingerprints in sight.

Almost as soon as the evidence begins to come in, local police, prosecutors and a wealthy local family begin railroading Vinny’s widow, Lara, into confessing that she covered up the suicide by staging the accident. When Vinny’s partner delivers a box of papers to Lara after the police search the Jessup’s house, she turns to Barbara and Frank Holloway for help.

This story introduced a lot of new characters and brought back the familiar Bailey and Shelly from the previous books, but Wilhelm has a way of working the characters so I don’t get overwhelmed with all the new ones to follow. I think it’s because they are introduced slowly and not all dropped on me in a list on one page. By the end of the book, I’m hoping that we will see how things progress with these characters in future books.

Wilhelm also brings up the past of the new characters which plays a significant role in the story but it’s not confusing like some authors can make it. And when Barbara keeps going over and over the box of papers, it’s almost as if you can hear the wheels turning in her head. I felt like I could follow the chain of events much better and I knew where Barbara was headed with her questions. In some books, it almost like BAM! It’s the last chapter so let’s wrap everything up and solve the crime within 3 pages. Not here. Wilhelm takes her time to describe events and Barbara’s flow of thoughts so that it felt like I was right there with her.

Like I said above, No Defense is probably my favorite in the series so far! And Defense for the Devil was a great addition to the series as well.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

I'm going to have to check out these books...I'm always looking for a new series to get addicted to!